Realistic resolutions

Happy 2009! Have you made any New Year’s resolutionsClick here to learn about third-party website links

I’m not a particularly successful resolution-keeper. Last year, I vowed to eat healthier, and for six weeks it was nothing but oatmeal for breakfast, salads for lunch, and Lean Cuisine® Click here to learn about third-party website links for dinner. By the time Valentine’s Day rolled around, I felt so deprived that I consumed a two-pound box of See’s Candies® Click here to learn about third-party website links in one sitting.

All bets — and subsequently, all resolutions — were off.

Looking back on it, I know my resolution was too general — not to mention highly unrealistic! I’m guessing that many resolution-makers find themselves in similar situations.

Depending on what stage you are in your student life — soon-to-be-student, current student, recent graduate — here are a couple of specific, achievable New Year’s resolutions you could adopt in 2009:

1. Apply for at least one scholarship. Remember, free money for college means less money you’ll have to borrow, and plenty of scholarships are out there for those willing to do a little work. Find one that’s right for you by checking with your high school guidance counselor, your college financial aid office, your employer (or your parents’ employer), or a scholarship search.

2. Before you apply, read the fine print. Know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign a credit card application or a student loan promissory note, because your signature indicates that you agree to the terms and conditions. Pay attention to interest rates, fees, grace periods, and repayment periods. If you don’t understand anything, ask — before you sign.

3. Make an extra student loan payment. Student loans don’t have prepayment penalties. At least once this year, scrounge up enough cash to throw an extra $50 at one of your student loans, preferably the one with the highest interest rate. Just be sure to communicate with your lender and let them know exactly which loan you want the extra payment applied to.

My one resolution for 2009? Not to eat an entire box of See’s Candies in one sitting. Sounds pretty doable, right?

This entry was posted in Budgeting, College, Credit, Credit cards, Debt, Federal loans, Fees, Financial aid, Financial education, Graduate school, Holidays, Interest rates, Lenders, Money management, Paying, Post-college, Preparing, Private loans, Scholarships, Student loans, Tuition, Wells Fargo Bank. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Realistic resolutions

  1. Alysa O. says:

    Education is the number one priority of everyone. Everyone aims to get a degree because that will definitely helps everyone to earn extra money. As more Americans try to figure out ways to save extra money, many people are asking: Is private college worth it? SmartMoney did a study that shows people who pay tuition and fees at private colleges don’t see a higher return on their investment, financially speaking. In fact, looking strictly at the initial cost of getting a degree and the salaries and extra money that graduates earn, Ivy Leaguers see a lower return on investments.

    Editor’s note: Just so you know, we removed a URL from this comment in accordance with our Comment Guidelines. Nothing else has been changed or altered in any way.

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